Director of Engineering
From space to the oceans, Alex Venetiou has spent his tenured career supporting the development of systems and technologies that tap the potential of these great frontiers. Originally from Seattle, Alex was born into a maritime family and spent his free time fishing, outrigger canoe paddling, sailing and windsurfing. His port manager father inspired him to apply to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, to which he was accepted in 1990. Alex graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering Systems and the ambition to go on to graduate school to study control theory. He earned his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) from the University of Southern California (USC).
While at USC, Alex made connections that helped him gain his first post graduate job at The Boeing Company, as a reliability engineer in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he analyzed systems and mitigated problems for the International Space Station. While at Boeing, he also worked on the Delta IV launch vehicle and Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS) as an electronics engineer. At MSSS, he broadened his motion control skills to include large optics for telescopes. This experience led Alex to join Lowell Observatory’s Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) design team in Flagstaff, Ariz., as the senior electrical engineer. In this position, Alex designed, built and tested the electronics and controls systems for a new 4.3-meter telescope in only seven years – a process that can take a decade or more with larger telescopes.
“DCT gave me the opportunity to see all phases of the telescope’s development, from concept to completion, an experience that continues to serve me today,” said Alex.
In 2013, he relocated to the East Coast for a Senior Systems Engineer position at L3 Technologies, in Wilmington, Mass. Over the course of five years he was promoted to the position of systems engineering manager and served as a technical lead for another specialized space telescope.
Then, in 2019, a recruiter approached Alex with an offer to interview for Sea Machines as a lead systems engineer. He was immediately drawn to the fact that the position was a match for both his control theory and maritime backgrounds. Soon after, Sea Machines offered him the job.
With help from his systems engineering team, Alex leads the development of the hardware portion of Sea Machines’ products. He also interacts with customers and develops interfaces for their vessels, which allows Sea Machines’ technology to control everything from propulsion and steering systems to unique payloads, such as marine survey sonars or spill response boom arms.
A year later, Alex was promoted to Sea Machines’ director of engineering. Now, Alex leads the software and hardware engineering teams in the development of industry-leading, autonomous-command and remote-helm control systems for commercial marine vessels.
“One of the best parts about working for Sea Machines is being out on the water aboard the boats. I really enjoy the team. It’s comprised of a group of talented engineers who work well together,” he said.
Alex looks forward to honing his leadership and watching his team thrive with the company.
“Sea Machines is one of the lead autonomous systems in our industry,” he said. “Clients have tested our systems against others, and they prefer ours, which is gratifying. It is exciting to develop a unique system – an ‘autonomy in a box,’ retro-fit option. No one else does what we do.”